Marcel Mauss on Islamo-Capitalism

“The famous Sourate LXIV, ‘mutual disappointment’ (the Last Judgement) given to Mahoment at Mecca, say of God:

15. Your wealth and your children are your temptation, whilst God holds in reserve a magnificent reward.
16. Fear God with all your might; listen and obey, give alms (sadaqa) in your own interest. He who is on his guard against avarice will be happy.
17. If you make a generous loan to God, he will pay you back double; he will forgive you because he is grateful and longsuffering.
18. He knows things visible and invisible, he is one powerful and wise.

Substitute for the name of Allah that of society and the occupational grouping, or put together all three names, if you are religious. Replace the concept of alms by that of co-operation, of a task done or a service rendered for others. You will then have a fairly good idea of the kind of economy that is at present laboriously in gestation. We see it already functioning in certain economic groupings, and in the hearts of the masses, who possess, very often better than their leaders, a sense of their own interests, and of the common interest.”

~Mauss – The Gift: The Form & Reason For Exchange In Archaic Societies, pp. 77-8


About Graham Joncas

We are a way for capital to know itself.

Posted on August 13, 2011, in Economics, History, Politics, Quotation and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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